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London’s cabs ranked best in the world

27th May 2009 Print
London’s taxis have been voted the best in the world for the second year running, a poll of international travellers has shown*. A third (33%) of the travellers surveyed said that London’s black cabs were the best in the world.

Despite being named the most expensive city for cabs, London’s taxi drivers pulled in the most votes for a number of different categories including friendliness of drivers, quality of driving and knowledge of area.

The capital’s taxis beat off competition from New York (favourite amongst 17% of travellers) and Berlin (which came in third place with 6% of the vote.) The survey found that the Spanish city of Madrid and the Danish capital of Copenhagen completed the top five. Bangkok, famed for its tuk tuk taxis, was a surprise entry into the top ten, beating both Dublin and Paris to the number seven slot.

The top ten cities in the world for taxis

1. London 33%
2. New York 17%
3. Berlin 6%
4. Madrid 5%
5. Copenhagen 4%
6. Stockholm 3%
7. Bangkok 3%
8. Las Vegas 3%
9. Dublin 2%
10. Paris 2%

Taxis are one of the first experiences that many travellers have on arrival in a new city, so it is significant that London’s taxis are making such a good impression on visitors to the capital. In fact, the research found that cabs are by far the most popular method of travel from airport to hotel. More than two thirds (69%) of travellers said that they regularly take a cab to their hotel when arriving in a city, as opposed to 17% who tend to use a private car, and 16% who prefer to use the train.

The European poll also looked at the top taxi destinations for cleanliness, value, quality of driving, knowledge of the area, friendliness, safety and availability. These findings include:

• London cab drivers are the friendliest in the world: With 16% of the vote, London cabbies beat the Irish to the title of the world’s most friendly taxi drivers. Dublin came a close second, with 11%.
• Service without a smile in Paris taxis: With less of a focus on customer service, 16% voted Paris taxi drivers the rudest in the world.
• New York cabbies are the worst drivers: One in ten travellers (9%) think New York taxi drivers are the worst in the world when it comes to quality of driving.
• London taxi drivers know their city best: A third (33%) voted London taxi drivers as having the best knowledge of their city. New York drivers came in second with 11% of the vote.
• Athens has the filthiest taxis in the world: 11% of Europeans voted Athens as being the worst city in the world for taxi cleanliness.
• Queuing for a cab in Paris: Those heading to Paris may have to get used to queuing for a cab – 10% named Paris the worst city in the world when it comes to availability of taxis.
• Paying a high price for London cabs: Despite being voted the best city overall, London was named the most expensive city in the world for taxis, with 21% of the vote. This was closely followed by Copenhagen (9%) and Paris (8%).
• Safety first in London: London cabs may be pricey, but a quarter of those surveyed also voted the city’s cabs the safest in the world. This was closely followed by the Nordic capitals of Oslo with 8% and Stockholm with 7%.

Alison Couper, Director of Communications,, comments “It’s great to hear that London has won the best taxi vote for the second year running. The journey to their hotel is often a traveller’s first experience of the destination they are visiting and so a friendly, knowledgeable taxi driver can help form a positive first impression. With the weak pound, falling hotel prices and now this award, London is becoming an increasingly attractive and affordable destination for visitors.”

John Thomas, Chairman of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, comments “I am pleased to hear that London has been recognised as having the best taxi service in the world. London’s taxi drivers must dedicate three years to completing the knowledge training to qualify as a London taxi driver and that commitment is vital to offering the very best customer service. This is what makes London’s taxi service stand out from New York, Paris and every other major city.”

* Research was conducted amongst 1,400 travellers from the UK, Ireland, France, Spain, Germany, Norway, Sweden and Denmark in May 2009.